Praise be to the Almighty!

 

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (NIV)
David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (MSG)
David blessed God in full view of the entire congregation: Blessed are you, God of Israel, our father from of old and forever. To you, O God, belong the greatness and the might, the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor; Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth; the kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all. Riches and glory come from you, you’re ruler over all; You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.
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“Therefore David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly and said, “Blessed (praised, adored, and thanked) are You, O Lord God of Israel (Jacob) our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and on the earth; Yours is the dominion and kingdom, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand is power and might; and it is in Your hands to make great and to give strength to everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” -AMPLIFIED

This is another prayer of David, lifted up to God in a transitional period of his life. David had lived a long life. He was preparing to turn the reigns of kingship over to his son Solomon. It was nearing the time that he would die. One of his greatest desires had been to build a temple for Jehovah, but God had informed him that was not his job to do; his son Solomon would build the temple.

While standing with the assembly David lifted up this prayer in humbleness to Adonai. “Blessed be you, Adonai, the God of Isra’el our father, forever and ever. Yours, Adonai, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty; for everything in heaven and on earth is yours. The kingdom is yours, Adonai; and you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from you, you rule everything, in your hand is power and strength, you have the capacity to make great and to give strength to all. Therefore, our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name.” (Complete Jewish Bible)

David acknowledges that everything in heaven and earth is God’s. Everything! He is over all. All riches and honor, greatness, power, glory, victory and majesty are His. David basically recognizes the fact that we are nothing without God. We have been placed here on this Earth to be stewards of what God has created and to bring glory to His Name.

We find that David has remained faithful to God, even until the end of his life. Yes, there were times of fear and running for his life; multiple times. He had committed grievous sins that displeased God, but he willingly humbled himself and asked forgiveness, making things right with God. As David prepared to die he made sure that he was leaving this life with a right attitude and his allegiance was still in the proper place. And so, we find him saying, “And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you, praising your splendid Name.”

Praise be to God, the One who is and was and will forever be. Praise be to our Heavenly Father who has been from everlasting and will be to everlasting. All praise be to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Let us give thanks to the Holy One; who is above all, able to lead all, and provides for all. He is great and greatly to be praised! Praise Him and give Him thanks.

My Prayer:
Father, you are my God. You were before all things and You alone will be until the very end; from everlasting to everlasting. All glory, honor and praise is due you. I, too, must lift my voice with thanksgiving and praise; for I recognize the fact that without You I would not be. Without You I am lost. Without you I am hopeless. Lord, to You alone belong all greatness, power, strength, victory and majesty. You are my God and I will praise You!

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In everything give thanks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoygmylt2iM

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG)
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
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“Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” -AMPLIFIED

In Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonians he gives them a list of expectations to follow. These were things that not only he would appreciate seeing in them, but more importantly things that God expected to see in them. Some of these things were to: work hard, live in peace, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with one another and strive to do good.

Paul then inserts, as if it were, a few nuggets that seem out of the ordinary. These were nuggets of truth that would enhance their lives and give them a godly perspective. Rejoice always; no matter what. Pray all the time. Always give thanks; no matter what may be happening in your life.

Paul was giving direction to the Thessalonians that they had a personal choice in how they would act or re-act. You can choose to rejoice, you can choose to pray, you can choose to give thanks or you can choose to do the opposite; be depressed, ungrateful and cut off from God’s close fellowship. It is a choice that each of us need to make personally and in every instant.

Notice that Paul does not say, “Rejoice for every circumstance”, but “in every circumstance”. There is a vast difference between the two. Notice too, there are no exceptions; in every situation and in every circumstance. There is always something that we can find to thank God for and looking for the good causes us to focus on the positive and not the negative.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks! It sounds so easy; until you lose your job, a loved one or you feel as if you can’t go on. What then? What happens when it appears that the World around you is crumbling? What happens when it seems that there is just no way possibly to carry on? Rejoice, pray and give thanks. Yes, even when it seems that there is no way possible that things will ever get better. God is still there in the midst of whatever is happening in your life. God is the one constant that you can always count on. When all else fails and there seems to be no reason to carry on; God still loves you, is always available for you and wants the very best for you. Hold on to His love; rejoice in His presence, pray for His help and give thanks that He is who He is!

The story is told of Ruth Bell Graham who struggled with worry over her rebellious children. One night she awoke with an overwhelming worry for her son. She tried to pray, but this worry became an even greater anxiety; an overpowering fear seemed to grip her. As she lay there, unable to go back to sleep, nor to find the break-through that she so desperately desired God spoke to her. The Lord spoke to her these words, “Quit studying the problems and start studying the promises.”

Ruth rose, got out here Bible and turned to Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” She realized that the missing ingredient in her prayers had been thanksgiving and so she amended that; putting down her Bible she began to worship and give thanks for and to God.

Take the time today to choose to rejoice, pray and give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to have the right attitude and perspective in this life.
Help me to focus on what you are doing in my life and through my life; not on the negative things. You are a good God! You have given me salvation, forgiveness, and a hope; that I would otherwise not have. Your love is overwhelming, reaching and touching every part of my life. You are a caring, compassionate Father. Your grace is amazing. You never leave me alone, but walk through the valleys with me and up the mountains too. Thank you God for all you do, but more importantly thank you for who you are. I love you Heavenly Father.

Rejoice and be glad!

Psalm 104:33-34 (NIV)
I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.

Psalm 104:33-34 (MSG)
Oh, let me sing to God all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live! Oh, let my song please him; I’m so pleased to be singing to God.
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“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet and pleasing to Him; as for me, I will rejoice and be glad in the Lord.” -AMPLIFIED

Rejoice and be glad in the Lord; a duty which has been made over and over through Scripture. It was a directive given to all of those who are children of the Most High, without exception. Rejoice and be glad!

The writer of this Psalm tells us that he will “sing” to the Lord as long as he lives. Praise will continually be on his lips. We find this endless theme of praise to the Lord winding its way through the Psalms, and so too should we allow praise to wind its way through our lives. Just the fact that we are living and breathing gives good reason to praise the Lord. “This [day in which God has saved me] is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

How important is that song of praise in our lives? You may be surprised how important it is. David tells us in Psalm 40; “He (God) taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.” (MSG) Our obedience in giving praise affects those around us as well as our Heavenly Father! Rejoice and be glad!

“For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs. His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap; Pagan gods are mere tatters and rags. God made the heavens—Royal splendor radiates from him, A powerful beauty sets him apart. Bravo, God, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might. Bring gifts and celebrate, Bow before the beauty of God, Then to your knees—everyone worship!” -Psalm 96:4-9 (MSG)

Too many Christians have become lackadaisical in their responsibility of worship and praise these days. I give a gentle reminder of what we will be doing for all Eternity; we can find it in John’s Revelation. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)” -Revelation 19:6-8 (NIV)

Take time to rejoice and be glad in your Lord and Savior today. Give thanks where thanks is due. Lift up His Name and give Him praise; for He is “worth a thousand Hallelujahs”! Be in awe of the Almighty One; sing to Him all of your life a song of praise.

MY Prayer:
God Almighty, You are my God and I will praise you. I lift your Name up. I will bow before your greatness and worship You. I will indeed rejoice and be glad; for you are THEONE who makes this life possible. All Creation worships you and I too expect to do nothing less. Your love floods my life and your grace covers a multitude of sin. I am looking forward to that time that I will stand before your throne and raise my voice with the multitude shouting, “Hallelujah!” to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. God, I love you and I will worship you all the days of my life!

How great is our God!

How Great is our God: a daily devotion by Tonia Slimm.

Psalm 63:1-4 (NIV)
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:1-4 (MSG)
God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
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“O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You;
My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. So will I bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” -AMPLIFIED

Psalm 63 is another psalm of David; written when he had fled to the wilderness of Judah; possibly when he was running for his life from his son Absalom. Even in an uncertain and desperate time of his life David realized the need to give praise where praise was due. “O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You!”

David states that he thirsted and longed for God. He had a deep-seated need that could only be filled by spending time with the Almighty. David understood that it was only God who could fill that deep longing need; only God could satisfy the thirst and the hunger.

“The true believer is convinced, that nothing in this sinful world can satisfy the wants and desires of his immortal soul; he expects his happiness from God, as his portion. When faith and hope are most in exercise, the world appears a weary desert, and the believer longs for the joys of heaven, of which he has some foretastes in the ordinances of God upon earth.” -Matthew Henry (Concise Commentary)

David states, “I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.” In other words, it does not matter what is happening in my life at this moment. I have seen you work before. I have stood in your very presence and seen your power and glory. I have seen your loving touch on my life and it is better than life itself. I will praise you in spite of the awful things that are happening at this time.

David understood that no matter what was happening, God was still God, He was still on the throne and He was still worthy of all praise. No matter what was happening in life God deserves our praise. The Sons of Korah penned these words, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise…” – Psalm 48:1 (NIV)

David affirms that God’s love is better than life itself. Charles Spurgeon gives us a few thoughts on God’s love. “Life is dear, but God’s love is dearer. To dwell with God is better than life at its best; life at ease, in a palace, in health, in honor, in wealth, in pleasure; yea, a thousand lives are not equal to the eternal life which abides in Jehovah’s smile. In him we truly live, and move, and have our being; the withdrawal of the light of his countenance is as the shadow of death to us: hence we cannot but long after the Lord’s gracious appearing. Life is to many men a doubtful good: loving-kindness is an unquestioned boon: life is but transient, mercy is everlasting: life is shared in by the lowest animals, but the loving-kindness of the Lord is the peculiar portion of the chosen.” -(Treasury of David)

How great is our God! May our hearts hunger and thirst after God, just as David’s did. May we never become calloused to God’s loving touch in our lives. Lift your hands and praise the Lord and give Him the praise that He is due. In being obedient to what God has called you to do you in turn will be blessed.

My Prayer:
Lord, I love you and give you praise; for you are wonderful, magnificent and worthy of all praise. Your loving hand touches every part of my life and I am humbled by your love. That grace that is greater than all my sin is overwhelming and greatly appreciated. Great are you Lord; you have no equal. I lift my hands and voice to magnify you and give you my devotion. I will praise you as long as I live. You are my God and earnestly will I seek you. All glory, honor and praise belong to you!

Tell the story of God’s goodness in your life!

Psalm 107:1-3 (NIV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Psalm 107:1-3 (MSG)
Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. All of you set free by God, tell the world! Tell how he freed you from oppression, then rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas.
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“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His compassion and loving-kindness endure forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary, And gathered them from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” -AMPLIFIED

The Amplified Bible entitles Psalm 107 with these words, “The Lord Rescues People from Many Troubles”. The whole chapter is filled with testimony to the fact that God Almighty has saved and rescued people from various “impossible” situations to live once again a life of blessing. (See verse 38 and 41.)

Psalm 107 was a song to be sung by the redeemed; those who had been reclaimed; bought back and restored. Yes, it celebrates man’s deliverance from various troubles, but more importantly it focuses on the Lord’s hand upon His children. It points to the fact that “but for God” we would be lost and its theme is one of thanksgiving and gratefulness.

The unknown Psalmist instructs us to, “Give thanks to the Lord”. Why; because He is good. Not only that, but His love is everlasting! We all can acknowledge this truth. Each of us has a story to share of God’s goodness and love; how it has touched our lives. We all should be able to tell of God’s gracious mercy and grace in our lives.

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so. Whatever others may think or say, the redeemed have overwhelming reasons for declaring the goodness of the Lord. Theirs is a peculiar redemption, and for it they ought to render peculiar praise. The Redeemer is so glorious, the ransom price so immense, and the redemption so complete, that they are under seven-fold obligations to give thanks unto the Lord, and to exhort others to do so. Let them not only feel so but say so; let them both sing and bid their fellows sing.” -Charles Spurgeon (Treasury of David)

It is God Almighty who has gathers us up as His people; from every corner of the Earth. We all had wandered away, we all were in need of redemption and we all have been set free by accepting the gift of Jesus. But for the grace of God, where would we be? “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

We have a story to share; it is of how God Almighty has called us back to Himself and saved a sinner such as I. “Good people see this and are glad; bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks. If you are really wise, you’ll think this over—it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love.” Psalm 107:42-43 (MSG)

Many years ago Fanny Crosby penned these words to the hymn “Blessed Assurance”:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
(Refrain)
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
vs.2
Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. (Refrain)
vs.3
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
(Refrain)

Let us not forget where we have come from, nor where we are going. It is all made possible because of the goodness and love of our Heavenly Father. Do not be ashamed of what God has brought you through or where He has brought you from. We are all sinners saved by grace.

My Prayer:
Lord, I am so overwhelmed by your grace and love in my life. Your goodness to your children is out of this World! You have brought every one of us from impossible places and saved us by your grace. We have a story to tell because of what you have done for us. God, I thank you for saving me and I thank you for keeping me in the palm of your hand. You made a relationship with you possible. Those whispers of love that wooed me and called my name finally won me over. Thank you for never giving up on me!

Praise God from who all blessings flow!

Psalm 113:1-3 (NIV)
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Psalm 113:1-3 (MSG)
Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing—now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God!
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“Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised [with awe-inspired reverence].” -AMPLIFIED

It is the time of the year that many of us take the time to focus thoughts on giving thanks. I would put forth though that we have reason to have a thankful heart every single day of the year. Sadly, the negative things of life have a tendency to grab our attention and we focus more on them more then on the good things that fill our lives. Those good things often slip by unnoticed as we are distracted and the opportunity of enjoying them and giving thanks for them are quickly gone too.

History tells us that Psalms 113-118 were appointed by the prophets and teachers to be recited on particular holy days. This group of Psalms was called the Hallel; which is Hebrew for Praise. With Psalm 113, in particular, we find Jewish tradition telling us that the one who had the job or service of reading to the congregation would read out loud and when he came to the phrase, “Praise the Lord” the congregation would respond, “Hallelujah!”, with adoration.

The Psalmists encourage us to “Praise the Lord”. Not just a few of us, bur all of His servants. In fact, just to lovingly speak His name is a form of Praise; “Jesus”, “Almighty”, “Father”. Remember this truth; God is a blessing!

Charles Spurgeon encourages us with these words; “Praise ye the LORD, or Hallelujah, praise to JAH Jehovah. Praise is an essential offering at all the solemn feasts of the people of God. Prayer is the myrrh, and praise is the frankincense, and both of these must be presented unto the Lord. How can we pray for mercy for the future if we do not bless God for his love in the past? The Lord hath wrought all good things for us, let us therefore adore him. All other praise is to be excluded; the entire devotion of the soul must be poured out unto Jehovah only.” -(Treasury of David)

Now and forever is our God worthy of praise. We must commit to live in a state of thanksgiving and praise. We need to stop focusing on the negative and start directing our attention to the positive things in our lives. We need to stop lamenting on how many times we fell down but rejoicing in the fact that with God’s help we were able to stand back up.

The Psalmists push us to offer up praise, “From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same”; the Name of the Lord is to be praised. From sunrise to sunset we are to be concentrating on God’s blessings in our lives. We are to lift our hearts and voices in praise to God Almighty for all His mercies and His faithfulness.

Henry Law, Bishop of Carlisle and theologian, asks us this rhetorical question, “Is there a spot on earth which is not witness of God’s goodness? Is there a region of the globe in which this homage should not abound? Is there a living being who is not a partaker of His tender mercies? Is there a mother’s son who should not testify thanksgiving? From east to west, from pole to pole, the constant sound should be adoring praise.”

Let everything that have breathe praise the Lord, praise ye the Lord. Take time today to count your blessings. I am sure in doing so you will realize the Hand of God constantly on your life. Protecting, providing, leading and guiding in ways that you never realized or considered. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!

My Prayer:
Lord, you have blessed me in ways that are beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you for always being part of my life. You are a great and amazing Father. Forgive me for not offering up the praise that should continually be on my lips. I see your hand-print on every area of my life and I know that but for you, my life would be immensely different. Thank you for your countless blessings in my life every day; You are amazing Lord!